Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Use designated parking! – IPL, stadium police

Published:Wednesday | June 19, 2019 | 12:12 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

Major Desmon Brown, general manager of Independence Park Limited (IPL), said patrons attending major events at the National Stadium should use designated parking areas to prevent their vehicles being broken into or stolen.

Brown’s comments follow a ­number of reports of these ­incidents during Monday night’s Group C Concacaf Gold Cup match between Jamaica and Honduras.

The stadium police report that three cars were stolen and two others were broken into during the game. But Brown has insisted that none of this took place inside any of the stadium’s designated parking areas, and is advising patrons to take the safer approach and utilise the parking areas inside the venue.

“I do not have a report on any car being broken into or stolen in the stadium car park,” he said. “We (IPL) spend a lot of time on security and try to make improvements as we go along, especially with the cars.

“But this (robberies) usually takes place outside of the car park, on the road.

“What they (patrons) are trying to avoid, at the end of the event, is the time it takes to get out. But it’s better to be safe and come inside the stadium car park. Sometimes it’s cheaper (to park outside the venue) because they (patrons) pay the ­hustlers money out there. The stadium is an inconvenience when they are leaving, but it’s much safer, so they must come into the car park if they don’t want it (their vehicles) getting broken into.”

An officer who requested anonymity told The Gleaner that many of the robberies were not reported and that, as a result, they do not have an accurate account of the number of victims that evening. But the officer agreed with Brown’s assessment that too many patrons are trying to avoid the after-match traffic congestion and are attempting to park in a more ­convenient spot which usually leaves their ­vehicles exposed.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

“One of the issues is that persons choose to park anywhere, on little corners and roadways and such, where some guys use the opportunity to make money by parking cars,” the officer said. “The persons who commit these offences are repeat offenders, so persons should try ­carpooling to cut down on the volume of vehicles that come into this space to be parked.

“At the Buju concert (in March), all the vehicles that were broken into were parked on side roads. Even though parking was made available at Heroes Circle and shuttle buses provided, persons still chose to park on the roadways, where no security is provided. So a lot of the responsibility is left to the patrons because all the reports of vehicles broken into are vehicles parked on side roads. None that were parked in the designated parking area, where there are security guards and police were in place, were reported stolen.”